Brighton midfielder Megan Connolly has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland reckoning for the forthcoming European qualifiers against Greece and Montenegro because of a shoulder injury.

The 22-year-old midfielder has played 21 times and scored once for Ireland. 

She said on Twitter: "Gutted to have had to withdraw from the squad after suffering a shoulder injury but I have started rehabilitation already and hope to be back on the pitch soon.

"Either way, I will be proudly supporting this amazing group of players and staff Thursday night."

Head coach Vera Pauw added: "It's so unfortunate. I've not seen her playing so well as recently and she would have been the core of the game-plan."

Megan Campbell (tendon), Keeva Keenan (hip) and Jessica Ziu (groin) are all also out but Áine O Gorman (30), who retired from international football after winning her 100th cap in September 2018, has returned to the squad.

Pauw suggested the Peamount United winger is likely to come straight into the team at full-back.

"You don't call a player back with that status and not have the intention to play her.

"We have injuries both sides at full-back with Megan and Keeva. We needed a player coming in that we know could do the job and who else but Áine?"

"Because she knows everybody, it's as if she never left the team."

Pauw suggested US-born Kyra Carusa, whose international clearance came through this week, was more "a player for the future". 

RTÉ Sport will broadcast both games live on RTÉ2 and RTE Player.

The first match is this Thursday as Pauw's side take on Greece in Tallaght Stadium (live from 7.30pm) before travelling to face Montenegro on Wednesday 11 March.

These will be the fourth and fifth of eight group games on the road to Euro 2021 in England. 

Ireland are currently second in Group I, with six points the target given there are two fixtures against the leaders Germany still to come.

The group winners and three best second-placed sides qualify automatically, with the other six runners-up playing off in October 2020 for the three remaining places.

In November, Ireland led in Greece for almost 80 minutes before conceding an injury-time equaliser.

Pauw blamed that late lapse on being forced into six changes from the side that beat Ukraine and said that upon reflection the team had "done really well" in the 1-1 draw.

Greece were very physical in the encounter in Athens, picking up four yellow cards to Ireland's two, and Pauw is hoping for some stricter officiating in Dublin.

"I'm very happy that we have Spanish referees. The referee did her best but we had to stop them rather than the referee stopping them."